Local News

Senate stimulus bill leaves N.C. leaders in limbo

Posted February 9, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

North Carolina flag, NC flag, state flag, N.C. flag

— The U.S. Senate on Monday lined up to advance the $827 billion economic stimulus legislation backed by the White House, and Democratic leaders vowed to deliver a bill to President Barack Obama's desk within days.

Still, key lawmakers braced for a difficult round of further negotiations needed to produce a final House-Senate compromise.

Differing stimulus bills put state aid in limbo Differing stimulus bills put state aid in limbo

The two versions of the legislation are relatively close in size – the House package is $8 billion less than the Senate's – and are similar in many respects.

The Senate bill, however, cuts $40 billion from aid for state governments, and that leaves North Carolina lawmakers, who were expecting an estimated $16 billion, in a state of limbo.

"We've got to have that $40 billion," Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., said Monday. "Even $40 billion is not enough. We have states that are really bleeding."

"The intention was that we would start an infrastructure (program) with roads, bridges, highways, broadband, building of schools, building of new projects and a new grid system," Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., said. "Those things have taken a back seat to the overall (goal) of we have to bailout each state."

Several Republicans in the state House of Representatives say they are not looking for a bailout.

"What is the better way to go would be to consolidate programs, to really scrub our budget and see where the efficiencies are to get the waste out of our budget, and take this opportunity to make government truly more efficient in North Carolina," said Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake.

In a statement late Monday, Gov. Bev Perdue's office called the Senate's vote "important to America."

She went on to cite reservations about the Senate's version, but called the stimulus "a critical step toward addressing North Carolina's fiscal emergency. Therefore, despite some concerns, we urge both our senators to vote 'yes.'"


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • curiousgeorgia Feb 10, 2009

    Maybe we ought to change the election system. What about a variation on a parliamentary system? If the people voted in get a vote of no confidence they can be booted out of office or call a new election. Woops, may that isn't such a great idea afterall. Perpetual electioneering even worse than what we have!

  • ghimmy51 Feb 10, 2009

    Fine people let's get people BACK TO WORK and then so all the scrubbing. There's plenty of time ... just like there was plenty of time the last 8 YEARS. ERRRR!

  • short Feb 10, 2009

    Yo - NC Dem House -Senate. Here's a though - live within your means .......Spend what taxes are brought in - stop being all things to all people......This money is nothing more than a stop gap of your over bloated budgets...not a stimulus. Also - time to look at those retiremnt packages and benefits and make them in line w/ private sector. Otherwise - where are those dollars coming in the future.....you got lucky w/ your reckless spending.

  • joco cruiser Feb 10, 2009

    The key problem here is our legislators have already started spending the money they "anticipated" getting.

  • aintbackingdwn Feb 10, 2009

    If they'd take that money and pay off $100,000 on everyone's mortgage that's over 18 I guarantee you'd see more money pumped into the economy than the stock market could handle.

  • Seeminglyopposed Feb 10, 2009

    Deacons-"It is a shame, when this man has not been in office long enough for this statement even to be made". Black or white, this country was in a mess before he took office, and it was not going to get any better sooner if he had not been elected.

    The rich are going to continue to get richer, democrat or republican and the poor are steadily getting poorer, actually some of the rich are getting poor, because of comments like yours because this nation can not pull together and work together. And until we do, more of terrible times are yet to come, just to prove a point! SAD

  • They call me CATMAN Feb 10, 2009

    You get what you vote for. This President and the Democrats are a joke.But in the end we won't be laughing. If this is such a great deal why is President Obama trying to sell it like a used car.

  • woodrowboyd2 Feb 9, 2009

    id really love to know just how many here would like to own a green car and pay the price they are going for
    i keep hearing lets go green
    i cant afford the price of the things we have now and green will cost more and to me do less

  • spentrounds-full auto Feb 9, 2009

    Remember not long ago, just a few weeks, ole Bev said she found a way to cut 1 billion from the state budget in just two hours. Now she is in Obama's lap with her tin cup out begging for money. Of course the first statement is bogus, but then maybe not, about finding 1 billion in cuts in two hours. They are all liars and self serving and think the public at large is too stupid to realize what is the truth.

  • Eduardo1 Feb 9, 2009

    Maybe when Gov Bev, gets back from her much needed vacation, after a couple of weeks in office and just back from a 3 day junket at a resort in Williamsburg, she will start to reduce the fat in jobs. Not the workers making $20-40 K per year. But the heavy hitters. One area that I would go after is our out-of-wack college & University sports coaches and staff. I love sports, but times they are a tough, and sports are a luxury. I am not saying to cut it out, but lets make examples by cutting salaries to the level no higher than President Obama. He has no problem stating that Exec should not have a total compensation of $500K, which I agree with. Our country has gone nuts with sports & entertainment. Lets cut back on scholarsihp & grants for out of state & out of country students. "times they are tough" Are we waiting for riots in our streets, like Japan, Iceland, France by our dwindling middle Class? Gov Bev, make the tough decisions, you fought to get this job. ACT NOW!